Posts Tagged ‘Troy Polamalu

05
Feb
11

Super Bowl 45: A Preview

As I write this post, I am sitting at O’Hare International Airport awaiting my flight to Pittsburgh for the big game. So yes, up front, I’m taking the Steelers to win tomorrow (and feel that I’m remaining as unbiased as possible in that selection). I’ve taken the past two weeks off this sports blog for two reasons: 1)  to try to wrap my head around what is sure to be a legendary Super Bowl and 2) I’ve also started another pr blog with some friends of mine which has required a little more attention (Ok shameless self promotion complete.) Let’s let’s get right down to it:

Steelers 24-20 over the Green Bay Packers.

I’m going to go with Pittsburgh for a few reasons. The first being that this team has experience and has worked together through adversity at various times throughout the year. They scraped together a 3-1 record in their first four wins, had an amazing comeback against the Ravens twice and scooted their way to a 12-4 record. And true, it wasn’t always pretty. The defense has, much like any other year, been the glue that has held the Steelers together–headed by AP Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu. But with a defense like this, you don’t need your offense scoring 30 points a game.

I think that the Steelers will benefit from their multiple offensive weapons–Mendenhall (who has developed into a work-horse for team), Wallace (who is the fastest receiver in the NFL), Ward and Miller (who make huge plays in the clutch–if not as often as they used to) are the usual suspects, but the Steelers have done a great job of incorporating rookies Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders into the mix. These two additions to the offense have proven that they can make the big plays when necessary in play-off games and give Ben two more weapons to utilize on offense–it’s impossible to cover EVERYBODY that Ben may be able to get the ball off to. That is, if he decides to hand the ball off at all. Ben has become an increasingly mobile quarterback (a necessity since our O-line is depleted) and has no problem scrambling for first downs.

And yes, Green Bay is a good team. Aaron Rodgers is a good QB, Clay Matthews is a beast, Tramon Williams is clutch and Jordy Nelson has been on fire lately. In my opinion, the Steelers have a player that matches toe for toe with every one of them (Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Clark and Miller) not to mention Harrison, Woodley, and Wallace. Yes, I worry about our pass protection and our secondary–and Aaron Rodgers has an ungodly amount of 20+ yard completions this post-season. I mean really it’s ridiculous. And yes, I’m slightly uncomfortable about the state of our offensive line–especially with the loss of key center Maurkice Pouncey. But I’m not scared of the Packers in the slightest. I think they are an absolutely beatable team. They beat up on NFC fools and let’s not forget that they couldn’t exactly close out the NFC Championship against a third string QB in Chicago. The ONLY difference in that game was an understandable pick six by an unexpecting BJ Raji to preserve the lead. The Packers struggled against a Bears defense that is similar to Pittsburgh–except that Pittsburgh’s is better. Yes, I expect them to get burned once by the long-ball but I also expect defensive genius Dick Lebeau to be able to adjust.

Roethlisberger has Super Bowl experience and is a proven leader for his team (if you want my personal take on him in general, check out a great read on 15 Minutes Blog that features a variety of blogger opinions on the subject) and is unlikely to choke–in fact, I expect this to be his best Super Bowl performance to date (and God help us if it’s worse than his first Super Bowl performance.) I don’t think Aaron Rodgers will choke either–but expect nerves to get to him the first quarter before he settles down.

Let’s not forget either that everyone is picking the sexy pick of the Packers, which undoubtedly adds fuel to the fire. No one ever gives Pittsburgh its due–and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Of the 45 analysts at ESPN, 32 picked the Packers to win tomorrow. Lil Wayne puts out ‘Green and Yellow’ a song aimed squarely at Pittsburgh and the Packers are favored by 2.5 in Vegas.  See the Steelers have that extra drive to play for now–much like they did in ’09 and ’06 and they’re going to be fired up beyond belief wanting to prove the haters wrong–haven’t people learned yet that its Ben who is proven himself time and time again in the clutch–NOT Aaron?  Personally, I’d never bet on the Steelers to lose a game, being a fan aside, more often than not, they manage to find a way to get it done (in the final two minutes to give you a heart attack). Again, I don’t think this is a blow out by any means on either side–both teams can win the game and the victor will need to put together a damn near perfect ball-game to do so. But I give the Steelers the edge because I think their defense will allow for at least seven points off turnovers and that will be the difference in the game.

Who do you have tomorrow—and why??

It’s gonna be fun to watch (except for the Black Eyed Peas at halftime) so everybody enjoy the game and, of course, HERE WE GO STEELERS!! ❤



13
Jan
11

D-D-Divisonal Showdown

Unfortunately, it’s that time of year where football is drawing to a close 😦 The college season in the books (although I wish it was Oregon hoisting the trophy) and we did much better than with our BCS bowl picks this year than last–going 4-3…it’s a baby step, but it’s a step! 🙂

Wild Card Weekend was great to CDS–we went 3-1 (all except for that Seahawks snafu). This weekend–the NFL is serving up four delicious divisional match-ups that should be excellent for everyone watching. So without further delay–here’s our picks for this weekend.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Gotta go with the Steelers on this one (DUH!) Not only because I bleed black and gold–but because I really think the Steelers are the better team. It’s not that the Ravens are push-overs…this will be a dog fight for sure, but I see Pittsburgh coming out on top for a few reasons. The first being that since 1970, the Steelers are 8-0 in the playoffs against divisional opponents. These teams are incredibly familiar with each other and both will be prepared but the Steelers have a proven history of getting the job done among these circumstances–the previous two times the teams have met in the playoffs, the Steelers notched the W.

The Steelers have proven to be the tortoise in the AFC North this year–after a string of some UGLY games–they have been on a roll to close out the season. Yes, their final two games were against the Panthers and Browns–but the Steelers easily put together their two most comprehensive games. Add in the fact that of the past 7 regular season meetings, the Steelers have the edge 5-2. Those two Baltimore victories? They were against starting QBs Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. The Ravens have struggled to find an answer for Ben the past three seasons–and know it.

Another reason? Flacco is garbage. Ok, that may be a little harsh, but he is not anywhere near an elite qb status. While he is getting smarter with his play, he still makes many mistakes and the Steeler D will show no mercy. And don’t even get me started on Troy Polamalu–who is a main reason why we won the last game in Baltimore–his ability to be anywhere and everywhere is the difference maker. Now sure, all streaks come to an end and Baltimore may be due-but I think the Steelers, coming off a bye week have the edge. One thing’s for sure, this physical game is definitely going to take a toll on whoever advances enough to the AFC Championship–and probably enough to keep the victor from the Super Bowl. 

Steeeeel Curtain

Green Bay Packers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Oooooh-weeee is this going to be a GOOD game. I’m going with my gut and taking the Packers (they ARE my NFC SB pick!) even though my head says to give the edge to the Falcons. The Packers effectively shut down the Eagles last week–and though the defense tired in the fourth quarter–they put together a solid 60 minutes of football. This is Aaron Rodgers’ time to shine and he has accepted the challenge in leading his time–first to the playoffs, then in a wild card match-up–beautifully. Clay Matthews is an absolute beat–for all intense and purposes the Polamalu of the NFC and will be hard for the Falcons to get passed.

Ryan has himself has matured into a great little franchise QB in Atlanta and Michael Turner is a force to be reckoned with. I’m not by any means knocking on the Falcons–they’ve had a GREAT season and are completely deserving of their number one seed. But the Packers are on a hot-streak and are the most dangerous team in the NFC, which will lead them to victory at the Georgia Dome on Saturday night.

Seattle Seahawks at Chicago Bears

I’m taking the Seahawks–and no I’m not jumping on a bandwagon. Having lived in Chi-town for almost two years now (and loving every second!) I am surrounding by the Chicago culture–and I have watched my fair share of Bears games this season. I don’t think the Seahawks are going to win because they’re dominate–hell they’re not even a .500 team–I think they’re going to win because Da Bears just aren’t that great of a football team.

They really aren’t. The biggest scorer on their team is Robbie Gould (yea PSU!). Jay Cutler is spotty–when he’s good he’s good but when he’s bad?…well….he’s AWFUL. The Bears defense also isn’t great–having coughed up 34 points vs the Jets in week 16. Seattle just beat the defending champions–a team that is MUCH better than the Bears–I think they’ll be ready for the challenge and will shock the world by making it to the NFC Championship (much to my chagrin as I am not a Pete Carroll fan).

The Bears do have two things on their side: the weather (it’s FREEZING here) and Devin Hester–and I do hope, in this case, that I’m wrong and they manage to win–but I just don’t think it’s going to happen.

New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

Ok, we get it….these teams hate each other. *yawn* When did this turn into a rivalry for the ages? For some reason I always thought the Dolphins and Jets were the biggest rivals in the AFC East? But I digress…this media circus back and forth is ridiculously unnecessary–and I find it fascinating that it’s started by the Jets everytime…you know..the same Jets that the Patriots bent over their knees and SPANKED during a nationally televised game in December. Yes, Tom Brady is an ass (and a douche, really) but you can’t deny he’s the best quarterback in the game (and if you want my honest–and grudging–opinion, the best to ever play the game).  The Pats are the Pats…what else can you say? They’re a great, great ball club.

So I’m taking the Jets. Why? Well, they’re my Super Bowl pick..and I CAN’T bail on them now. Yes, Mark Sanchez is struggling GREATLY, but this is a team that, when they focus, can put together 60 solid minutes of football. The problem is they get distracted by any and everything–bright lights, loud noises and cute cheerleaders to boot. The thing about the Jets is even though they aren’t that great–and yes totally overrated from what we all thought they’d be–they always manage to find a way to win..and that’s something you can’t completely count out. They also did beat the Patriots in week 2–so I know they have it in them and even though it’s unlikely..I’m still taking them. They’re my pick and I ride or die with them until they’re out.

David and Goliath

What are your predictions for this weekend? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

In honor of the Steeler game on Saturday we’ve included our new favorite pre-game pump up song: Wiz Khalifa’s Black and Yellow.

–Sam




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